Model Program Available for Confined Spaces in Construction
Earlier this year, federal OSHA published a new regulation for Confined Spaces in Construction.Additional information can be found in Safety Bulletins 15-02, 15-03 and 15-04. SMACNA has prepared a model program for SMACNA members to use for compliance with this new regulation. The model program can be found on the SMACNA safety and health webpage under Model Policies.
However, it should be noted that OSHA is addressing several court litigations filed against this standard and there may be revisions related to several issues including specialized confined spaces such as attics and crawlspaces (especially regarding residential construction). In fact, OSHA has extended a temporary enforcement policy through January 8, 2016, only for employers engaged in residential construction work.
As with any model program, SMACNA members should use the program carefully, and if your workers must enter confined spaces, ensure your company competent person (as defined in the standard) knows the requirements, as they can be complicated.
In addition, OSHA has published a Small Entities Compliance Guide to Confined Spaces in Construction which can be found on their website. The guide contains compliance assistance including a sample permit-required confined space program specific to sewer entry, as well as a sample entry permit.
For further information on confined spaces, contact SMACNA’s director of safety and health, Mike McCullion, at email@example.com or 703-995-4027.